An interview with Buck O'Neill
was published in the June 2006 edition of Baseball Digest
. I've transcribed just one question and answer from that.
Q: Happiest moment of your life?
O'Neil: Oh man, there are so many. People ask me, "Buck what was your greatest day in baseball?" And that was Easter Sunday, 1943, Memphis, Tennessee. First time up, I doubled. Next time up, I singled. Next time up, I hit the ball over the left-field fence. Next time, I hit it to the left field and it looked like it was going out of the ballpark and, as I was going to first base, I was saying, "Hit the fence!" And it did. Bounced back between the center fielder and the left fielder and I get to third base, and the coach waves me in for an inside-the-park home run. But I stopped at third. I wanted that triple. I hit for the cycle.
Then that night, I was at the hotel, relaxing, and William Dismukes, who was our traveling secretary, was in the restaurant having dinner. He called me down and said, "Buck, got some people I want you to meet." The man that rant the restaurant in the hotel, his wife was a school teacher. And she had invited some young school teachers over to meet the ballplayers. And when I got downstairs, the table was right in front of the door, and I looked at this young woman, walked straight to her, told her my name was Buck O'Neil. We were married for 51 years. So I met my wife and hit for the cycle on Easter Sunday, 1943. One of the happiest days of my life.
Mark's notes on Buck's answer:
Easter Sunday, in 1943, was on April 25th.
In 1943, Buck was playing with the Kansas City Monarchs.
The young woman he spoke with was Ora Lee Owen. They were married in 1946.